In June, Turkmenistan's ambassador to India, Parahat Durdyev, told Sputnik that the selection of the consortium to finance the pipeline would be finalized by September 1.
"Negotiations with France's Total and Russian RT Global Resources regarding the syndicate for the TAPI project are under way. The parties reached agreement on the schedule during the last meeting of TAPI's steering committee. It is expected that future agreement will help implement the project on time," Sharif told RIA Novosti in an interview.
The minister stressed that the gas pipeline project must be completed as soon as possible and that Pakistan would like to see all parties involved in TAPI adhere to the schedule and complete the project.
The TAPI is a proposed pipeline of over 1,000 miles, intended to transport Caspian Sea natural gas from Turkmenistan to India. Initially, the project's cost was estimated at $7.5 billion, but later projections put a $10-billion price tag on the project.
According to Durdyev, the launch of the project is expected in December 2015, with gas deliveries to India through the pipeline likely to start in 2018.